Dental Sleep Medicine

  

 

 

If you have been referred to Dr. Alex J Johnson for apnea treatment, please  visit the Apnea Options website for information on completing the new patient forms. You can click this link to go directly to the forms page.

In order to learn about our apnea practice, please visit the Apnea Options website for a full array of educational materials and videos on sleep apnea and snoring.


Apnea Options

At Apnea Options, Dr. Alex Johnson provides alternative therapies for the treatment of sleep apnea. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, and is Board Certified in the care of sleep apnea and snoring.

Snoring and sleep apnea affect millions of people of all ages, both male and female. Oral appliance therapy is the most common treatment for the most severe snoring problems, and for sleep apnea patients. Treatment procedures range from changing your sleep patterns to utilizing orthodontic-related appliances that help open the airways during sleep.

Common Causes of Snoring

Snoring is caused by the vibrations of your soft and/or hard tissue palates; these vibrations occur because of increasingly narrow air passages. When air passes through these passages, a “flapping” sound occurs because the tissue is soft in nature. Surgery (to alleviate the snoring) is not always successful, however, because the sound may not originate from the soft palate; the snoring sometimes originates from tissues in the upper airway. Common causes include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Health problems
  • Obesity
  • Obstructed nasal passages – deviated septum
  • Poor muscle tone of the tongue
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies

Sleep Apnea

Loud snorers may have a more serious case of blocked air passages, known as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In these cases, the blockage of air is so great that no air can get through, causing repeated awakenings throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea can contribute or lead to many other conditions, such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and depression, so it is important to be diagnosed by a medical professional if you experience any sleep-related symptoms.  Oral sleep apnea appliances are an effective treatment option for sleep apnea patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or for sleep apnea patients that develop CPAP intolerance

Types of Sleep Apnea

  • The most common form of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and occurs due to a physical blockage, usually the collapsing of the soft tissue in the back of the throat.
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA), describes breathing which stops because the muscles involved don't receive the proper signal from the brain.
  • Mixed/complex sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

  • Insomnia
  • Loud snoring
  • Choking sounds during sleep
  • Headaches upon waking
  • Sleeping / drowsiness during the day

Risk Factors Associated with Sleep Apnea

  • More common in males
  • More common in adults over 40
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Smoking/Drinking/Medication
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Neuromuscular disorders

Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

  • Fatigue can cause problems at work or school
  • Fatigue inhibits your ability to operate a car
  • Causes general grumpiness
  • Can lead to high blood pressure
  • Can lead to stroke
  • Can cause heart failure
  • Can lead to complications with sedation for medical procedures

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Treatments for sleep apnea vary widely depending on the severity and type of sleep apnea a person suffers from. Suggested treatments can include:

  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking/drinking
  • Eating healthy and controlling blood pressure
  • Sleeping on your side
  • Oral devices
  • Breathing machines
  • Surgery in extreme cases

 

  
3840 Tampa Rd. | Palm Harbor, FL 34684 | Phone: 727-786-7550 | Fax: 727-240-1355
2011 © All Rights Reserved • Privacy Policy • Orthodontic Website Design By: TeleVox®
Administration